Advisor, Early Childhood Development–Advancing Nutrition Program

Job Type
Full Time
Job ID
Date Posted
Arlington, VA
Company Information
Save the Children

Save the Children is a partner in USAID Advancing Nutrition, USAID’s flagship nutrition project, led by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI), and a diverse group of experienced partners. Launched in September 2018, USAID Advancing Nutrition implements and provides technical support to nutrition interventions across sectors and disciplines for USAID and its partners. The project’s multi-sectoral approach draws together global nutrition experience to design, implement and evaluate programs that address the root causes of malnutrition. Committed to using a systems approach, USAID Advancing Nutrition strives to sustain positive outcomes by building local capacity, supporting behavior change and strengthening the enabling environment to save lives, improve health, build resilience, increase economic productivity and advance development.

The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Advisor position is advertised through five USAID Advancing Nutrition consortium partners and is fully seconded to the project. Applicants are encouraged to apply through the organization they are most interested in working for. Applicants applying through multiple organizations will not be considered.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)
The Technical Advisor will provide technical support to the design, implementation, monitoring and reporting of the ECD components of the USAID Advancing Nutrition project. This role will have a strong understanding of global evidence, best practices, and gaps around early childhood development interventions. The ideal candidate will have a particular emphasis on the Nurturing Care Framework and experience integrating ECD interventions into nutrition, health and other service delivery platforms.

The Technical Advisor will lead ECD activities, coordinating across teams (Nutrition and Health Systems, Food Security, Food Systems, and Social Behavioral Change) to stay abreast of research and better practices related to multi-sectoral nutrition and early childhood. The Technical Advisor will lead technical discussions and strategic thinking around ECD/Nurturing Care with USAID and other key stakeholders.

The Advisor will contribute to strategic plans, budget development, and annual/quarterly work plans as well as provide overall ECD technical guidance in line with USAID guidelines to achieve project objectives. In addition to global-level contributions, the ECD Technical Advisor will provide ECD technical assistance to countries either alone or as part of a team, leading the development, adaptation and implementation of 0-3 ECD materials and interventions. The Technical Advisor reports to the Director of Nutrition and Health Systems of USAID Advancing Nutrition with dotted line supervision to Associate Vice President, Department of Education and Child Protection of Save the Children. The position is based at the JSI offices in Arlington, VA.

Strategic Direction and Planning (50% Level of Effort)
• Identify promising innovative program strategies, develop program guidance, and provide technical assistance to priority countries in support of ECD programming in relation to multi-sectoral nutrition.
• Contributes to the project’s technical direction by developing strategies and partnerships to increase program coverage, visibility, and resource availability.
• Participate in program design and development of implementation activities (strategic planning, program presentation, advocacy and policy meetings), as appropriate.
• Contribute to the development of team (both global and country) work plans and budgets, ensuring consistency with project direction and strategy.
• Liaise with technical teams and advisors on the project to ensure a high standard of quality across all USAID Advancing Nutrition ECD-related products and presentations.

Collaboration, Coordination and Management (30% Level of Effort)
• Participate in global ECD networks relevant to nutrition, representing USAID Advancing Nutrition’s work and advocating for increased commitments to global nutrition.
• Facilitate global and regional coordination to ensure development of quality, evidence-based technical tools and guides, and promote their use to increase capacity of and support to USAID’s multi-sectoral nutrition priorities.
• Collaborate with the project’s monitoring and evaluation staff to carry out operations research related to ECD/nutrition program delivery and contribute to other research efforts as needed.
• Mentor Technical Specialists and/or Program Officers to facilitate professional growth and development.

Learning, sharing and documentation (20% Level of Effort)
• Ensures consistency with project direction and strategy, and provides timely, accurate data for USAID reports.
• Writes or contributes to programmatic and technical reports on ECD activities, such as quarterly reports and technical briefs as needed.
• Provides up-to-date, evidence based technical and policy briefs, and develop or manage the creation of evidence-based program standards with key stakeholders.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom Save the Children is in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation. Any violations of this policy will be treated as a serious issue.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.

Required Qualifications
  • Master’s degree or advanced degree in early childhood development, education, disability, nutrition, public health, or social sciences, or a related field.
  • Minimum of seven years of programing experience in early childhood development and/or experience in inclusive education. Knowledge of evidence based interventions and support for children with disabilities and their families a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability and affinity for delivering technical assistance in developing countries. Broad capacity building and training experience.
  • Experience overseeing technical quality of activities integrating nutrition into maternal and child health, family planning, food security/livelihoods and/or HIV/AIDS.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the socio-cultural issues and nuances of working in communities and with vulnerable populations.
  • Knowledge of emergent literacy and math and early learning programs and multi-sectoral programs in the First 1000 Days.
  • Ability to develop and apply monitoring and evaluation plans to determine activity results and monitor impact.
  • In-depth experience undertaking and supporting research, data collection, analysis and report and article writing.
  • Demonstrated success in working with local government and NGO stakeholders.
  • Strong record of fostering new and effective partnerships on an international level including participation in technical advisory groups, international consultations, boards, etc.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience working effectively in teams and cross-cultural settings.
  • Excellent time management and personal organization skills.
  • Comfortable working in a matrixed, integrated work environment.
  • Ability to direct multiple long and short-term activities simultaneously with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to undertake field travel (approximately 30%)
Preferred Qualifications
  • Teaching experience in classrooms, particularly for young age groups, e.g. pre-kindergarten preferred.
  • Confident giving and receiving feedback in a direct, professional manner.
  • Fluency in French or Portuguese.
  • Knowledge of USAID and other donor policies, strategies, and program priorities.